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We’re Still Fighting to Protect Our Liberty Today

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Americans who are fighting the left’s attempts to restrict our liberties, destroy our culture, and manipulate our society using the imperious power of the government sometimes may forget that we’ve been struggling to preserve our liberty and freedoms from overbearing governments since the beginning of our nation.

But my wife and I got a stirring and inspiring reminder this past Sunday in Richmond, Virginia, at St. John’s Church, the oldest church in that city.

Built in 1741 on a high hill with a sweeping view of the James River, St. John’s is still a functioning church today. St. John’s is the place where American patriot Patrick Henry gave one of the most famous speeches in history, concluding with the immortal words, “Give me liberty, or give me death.”

Nearly 250 years later, we bemoan that government has sunk its claws into almost every aspect of our lives, including our families, our professions, and our businesses.

Henry’s 1775 speech, and his defiance, helped inspire the colonists who were rebelling against the all-powerful British monarchy that had sunk its tightening claws into almost every aspect of their lives, too.

As related by the St. John’s Foundation, which is dedicated to preserving this church: “American soldiers of the Revolutionary War marched into battle carrying ‘Liberty or Death’ flags.” 

Patrick Henry’s words have inspired people around the world ever since he first spoke them.

That includes the brave protesters who gathered in Tiananmen Square in 1989 to take on the despotic, tyrannical Chinese government—a government that has gotten only worse since then, repressing its citizens and threatening the world. Many of those Chinese protesters carried signs quoting Henry’s words over 200 years after he appeared at St. John’s Church on March 23, 1775, during the second Virginia convention.

My wife and I were at St. John’s for a recreation of the crucial part of that convention—the debate over what to do about Britain’s treatment of the colonies. 

The first Continental Congress met in Philadelphia in October of 1774. The British government had imposed a series of taxes and restrictions on Americans, including the Stamp Act, Sugar Act, Townshend Acts, and Intolerable Acts, which the colonists believed violated their rights and their idea of self-government. These acts led to many acts of defiance, including the Boston Tea Party on Dec. 16, 1773, which resulted in the British navy closing Boston as a port and blockading it in March 1774.

On March 23, 1775, Williamsburg was still the capital of the Virginia colony. The second Virginia convention met in Richmond, however, because the 50 miles between the two towns was considered sufficient to prevent the royal governor, Lord Dunmore, from sending troops to arrest the attendees.

Delegates included several eventual signers of the Declaration of Independence, such as Benjamin Harrison V, Richard Henry Lee, and Thomas Nelson Jr. The convention was presided over by Peyton Randolph, also the first and third president of the Continental Congress. The three most prominent attendees—Henry, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington—often have been referred to as the voice, the pen, and the sword of the American Revolution.

The debate that led to Henry’s fiery oration was over a resolution he introduced to go forward with Virginians arming and organizing to protect themselves from the tyranny of the royal government and military occupation. Henry’s resolution said that “a well-regulated militia is the natural strength and only security of a free government” and was “at this time, peculiarly necessary for the protection and defense of the country.” 

If those words sound familiar, they should. Much of that same language ended up in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Henry called for Virginia to “be immediately put into a state of defense and that a committee be named … to prepare a plan for embodying, arming, and disciplining such a number of men as may be sufficient for that purpose.” 

Lee seconded Henry’s resolution. Jefferson and Washington were among delegates supporting it. Washington said that as a soldier, he believed “in being prepared,” a simple but straightforward proposition that should be the main driving force of our military policy even today.

Harrison voiced opposition, though, saying Henry’s resolution was “rash and inexpedient” and that Virginians “should do nothing hastily, offer no provocation.”

Edmund Pendleton agreed, arguing that the colony should “proceed slowly before rushing Virginia into war,” while Robert Carter Nicholas said Henry was being “hasty, rash, and unreasonable.” 

But Henry was having none of it. Americans should take heart from him if they have been silenced by school boards, university administrators, liberal media pundits, social media censors, and others who are trying to restrict any speech that doesn’t fit within the political orthodoxy of the radical left because it is “offensive.”

“Should I keep back my opinions at such a time through fear of giving offense,” Henry said, “I should consider myself guilty of treason toward my country and of an act of disloyalty toward the majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.”

The forces arrayed against us today, including Hollywood, social media and news platforms, academic institutions, corporations such as Disney, and government bureaucracies, may seem overwhelming at times. But Henry and his fellow Americans faced the world’s largest, strongest empire and military power. 

As Henry said:

They tell us, sir, that we are weak—unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of Hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

Sir, we are not weak, if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. … The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. …   

Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God!  I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

Unlike Patrick Henry, we’re not facing an armed oppressor (at least domestically). But we are facing a formidable array of forces internally that want to abolish our precious heritage of individual freedom and liberty, rewrite our history with their propaganda, pollute the minds of our children, and transform us into their version of a socialist “paradise” (everyone else’s version of a nightmare).

Just sitting inside the beautiful church in which the Virginia convention met in 1775, where Henry gave his passionate speech, was moving. But to hear the debate and his speech reenacted was, frankly, reinvigorating. 

The experience renewed my energy and my spirit to work toward what the overwhelming majority of Americans want. It’s what my Heritage Foundation colleagues and I work at every day: building and preserving an America where freedom, opportunity, prosperity, and civil society flourish.

Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email letters@DailySignal.com and we’ll consider publishing your edited remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature. Remember to include the URL or headline of the article plus your name and town and/or state. 

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Hailey Bieber Details Terrifying ‘Life-Altering’ Mini-Stroke She Suffered And Procedure To Close Hole In Her Heart

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Hailey Bieber has spoken out in her “own words” about the “life-altering,” “scariest moment” of her life she had after suffering what she called a mini-stroke, and later underwent a procedure to close a hole in her heart.

The 25-year-old supermodel and wife of superstar singer Justin Bieber took to her YouTube channel Wednesday and opened up about the terrifying experience of being hospitalized last month after she suffered a blood clot to her brain that traveled through a hole in her heart between 12 and 13 millimeters, reported People magazine.

“I had, like, a very scary incident on March 10, basically,” Bieber shared. “I was sitting at breakfast with my husband, having a normal day … and all of the sudden, I felt this really weird sensation that kind of like traveled down my arm from my shoulder all the way down to my fingertips. And it made my fingertips feel really numb and weird.”

“Justin [her husband] was like, ‘Are you okay?’” she added, as she explained that she tried to respond to him, but she “couldn’t speak.” “The right side of my face started drooping; I couldn’t get a sentence out.”

“Obviously, immediately, I thought I was having a stroke,” the supermodel continued. “He thought I was having a stroke. Right away, he asked for somebody to please call 911 and get a doctor.”

Hailey said that where they were, there happened to be a medic who started asking her lots of questions and testing her arms, calling it definitely the “scariest moment” of her life. The model talked about how the “facial drooping lasted for probably like thirty seconds.” Her speech did came back, but her “anxiety” about what was happening just made “everything worse.”

“By the time I got to the emergency room, I was pretty much back to normal – [I] could talk, [I] wasn’t having any issues with my face or my arm,” Bieber explained.

She said scans revealed she had, in fact, suffered a “small blood clot” to her brain which was labeled a “TIA” [Transient Ischemic Attack]. Hailey told her followers it was basically like having a “mini-stroke.”

Doctors still weren’t sure what caused it, but she said it was widely believed it was a combination of birth-control issues, recently having COVID-19, and having just traveled “to Paris and back in a very short amount of time,” calling it a “perfect storm.”

Further testing at the University of California, Los Angeles, revealed Bieber had a Grade 5 PFO [a small opening in the heart that usually closes after birth]. The outlet said the hold measured between 12 and 13 millimeters. She later underwent a procedure to close the hole, and said it went “very smoothly” and she’s recovering.

“The biggest thing I feel is I just feel really relieved that we were able to figure everything out, that we were able to get it closed, that I will be able to just move on from this really scary situation and just live my life,” Hailey shared.

“If there’s anybody that watches this that has gone through the same thing or something similar, I definitely really empathize with you,” she concluded. “And I understand how life-altering and scary it is.”

Bieber, who’s the daughter of actor Stephen Baldwin and Kennya Baldwin, married her husband Justin in 2018.

Related: Hailey Baldwin Credits Christian Faith For Marriage To Justin Bieber

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Wikipedia’s Left-Wing Bias

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I love Wikipedia. I donated thousands of dollars to the Wikimedia Foundation.

Before Wikipedia, all we had were printed encyclopedias—out of date by the time we bought them.

Then libertarian Jimmy Wales came up with a web-based, crowd-sourced encyclopedia.

Crowd-sourced? A Britannica editor called Wikipedia “a public restroom.” But Wales won the battle. Britannica’s encyclopedias are no longer printed.

Congratulations to Wales.

But recently, I learned that Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger now says Wikipedia’s political pages have turned into leftist “propaganda.”

That’s upsetting. Leftists took over the editing?

Sadly, yes. I checked it out.

All editing is done by volunteers. Wales hoped there would be enough diverse political persuasions that biases would be countered by others.

But that’s not what’s happening.

Leftists just like to write. Conservatives build things: companies, homes, farms.

You see the pattern comparing political donations from different professions: Surgeons, oil workers, truck drivers, loggers, and pilots lean right; artists, bartenders, librarians, reporters, and teachers lean left.

Conservatives don’t have as much time to tweet or argue on the web. Leftists do. And they love doing it. This helps them take over the media, universities, and now, Wikipedia.

Jonathan Weiss is what Wikipedia calls a “Top 100” Wikipedian because he’s made almost half a million edits. He says he’s noticed new bias: “Wikipedia does a great job on things like science and sports, but you see a lot of political bias come into play when you’re talking current events.”

Weiss is no conservative. In presidential races, he voted for Al Gore, Ralph Nader, and Barack Obama. Never for a Republican. “I’ve really never identified strongly with either political party,” he says.

Maybe that’s why he notices the new Wikipedia bias.

“People on the left far outweigh people on the center and the right … a lot [are] openly socialist and Marxist.” Some even post pictures of Che Guevara and Lenin on their own profiles.

These are the people who decide which news sources Wikipedia writers may cite. Wikipedia’s approved “Reliable sources” page rejects political reporting from Fox but calls CNN and MSNBC “reliable.”

Good conservative outlets like The Federalist, the Daily Caller, and The Daily Wire are all deemed “unreliable.” Same with the New York Post (That’s probably why Wikipedia called Hunter Biden’s emails a conspiracy theory even after other liberal media finally acknowledged that they were real).

While it excludes Fox, Wikipedia approves even hard left media like Vox, Slate, The Nation, Mother Jones, and Jacobin, a socialist publication.

Until recently, Wikipedia’s “socialism” and “communism” pages made no mention of the millions of people killed by socialism and communism. Even now, deaths are “deep in the article,” says Weiss, “treated as an arcane academic debate. But we’re talking about mass murder!”

The communism page even adds that we cannot ignore the “lives saved by communist modernization”! This is nuts.

Look up “concentration and internment camps” and you’ll find, along with the Holocaust, “Mexico-United States border,” and under that, “Trump administration family separation policy.”

What? Former President Donald Trump’s border controls, no matter how harsh, are very different from the Nazi’s mass murder.

Wikipedia does say “anyone can edit.” So, I made a small addition for political balance, mentioning that President Barack Obama built those cages.

My edit was taken down.

I wrote Wikipedia founder Wales to say that if his creation now uses only progressive sources, I would no longer donate.

He replied, “I totally respect the decision not to give us more money. I’m such a fan and have great respect for you and your work.” But then he said it is “just 100% false … that ‘only globalist, progressive mainstream sources’ are permitted.”

He gave examples of left-wing media that Wikipedia rejects, like Raw Story and Occupy Democrats.

I’m glad he rejects them. Those sites are childishly far left.

I then wrote again to ask why “there’s not a single right-leaning media outlet Wiki labels ‘reliable’ about politics, [but] Vox, Slate, The Nation, Mother Jones, CNN, MSNBC” get approval.

Wales then stopped responding to my emails.

Unless Wikipedia’s bias is fixed, I’ll be skeptical reading anything on the site.

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Public Health England to blame for sending patients to care homes without Covid tests

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Speaking on condition of anonymity, Whitehall officials alleged that Prof Duncan Selbie, the former PHE chief executive, was ultimately responsible for informing Mr Hancock of the risks.

Prof Selbie is working as a senior adviser to the DHSC. Neither he nor the department responded to requests for comment on Wednesday.

Mr Hancock, who was replaced by Sajid Javid last year, claimed the High Court ruling had exonerated him and the had been cleared “of any wrongdoing” because PHE “failed to tell ministers what they knew about asymptomatic transmission”.

The High Court judges concluded that care home policies in March and April 2020 were “irrational” because they failed to advise that those discharged from hospitals “should, so far as practicable, be kept apart from other residents for up to 14 days”.

“Since there is no evidence that this question was considered by the secretary of state, or that he was asked to consider it, it is not an example of a political judgment on a finely balanced issue,” they said. “Nor is it a point on which any of the expert committees had advised that no guidance was required.”

After the ruling, Boris Johnson said he wanted to “renew my apologies and sympathies” to relatives who lost loved ones, adding: “The thing we didn’t know in particular was that Covid could be transmitted asymptomatically in the way that it was.”

However, the risks of asymptomatic transmission had been highlighted by Sir Patrick Vallance, the Government’s chief scientific adviser for England, who said it was “quite likely” as early as March 13 2020. Varying levels of risk had been outlined in papers from late January, the ruling said.

The judicial review was brought by Dr Cathy Gardner and Fay Harris, whose fathers, Michael Gibson and Donald Harris, died after testing positive for Covid.

‘Opens the floodgates for potential claims’

Paul Conrathe, a solicitor at Sinclairslaw who was instructed by both women, said: “It’s possible that care home providers and relatives who lost loved ones in the first wave could bring compensation claims. The Government was found to have acted ‘irrationally’ – that’s a very high legal hurdle.”

Nadra Ahmed, who chairs the National Care Association, said the ruling “opens the floodgates for potential claims to be brought against government policy”.

“This will be especially pertinent where the individual was not given a choice,” she said. “There will be a lot of people assimilating to the information as they consider if the loss of their loved one was premature, and holding the Government to account is the only way forward for them.”

Helen Wildbore, the director of the Relatives and Residents Association, said that the ruling proved “the protective ring around care homes was non-existent” and that older people were “abandoned at the outset of the pandemic”.

A government spokesman said it had been a “very difficult decision” to discharge hospital patients into care homes, taken when evidence on asymptomatic transmission was “extremely uncertain”.

The spokesman added: “We acknowledge the judge’s comments on assessing the risks of asymptomatic transmission and our guidance on isolation, and will respond in more detail in due course.”


‘He was in a home and should have been safe’

They stood outside the Royal Courts of Justice, two women unknown to each other before the Covid pandemic but brought together by tragedy, writes Tom Ough.

Cathy Gardner spoke first, delivering a steely reading of a statement. Matt Hancock’s boast of a “protective ring” encircling care homes, Dr Gardner said, was “a despicable lie of which he ought to be ashamed and for which he ought to apologise”.

Fay Harris, more downcast in demeanour but no less forthright, told journalists: “I have lost precious years with my wonderful Dad.”

Both women lost their fathers in early 2020, arguing that they might still be alive were it not for hospital patients having been discharged into care homes without having been tested for Covid.

Michael Gibson, born in 1931, had been a superintendent registrar of births and deaths. “He was in a home and should have been safe,” Dr Gardner told The Independent after his death.

Mr Gibson, who had advanced dementia, had fallen ill a couple of weeks before the first lockdown. Staff at his care home were unable to procure tests for Covid, but the virus is believed to have struck him down.

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